In this digital age of ours, the look and functionality of your website is as important as—and in some cases, even more crucial than—your business’ physical appearance. If your online visibility marketing is doing its job, your site is making a first impression on behalf of your business many times every day.

With all this riding on your website, it’s key that you find the perfect fit in a website design team. Here are a few things to look at when you’re looking for the experts to make your website skyrocket to the next level:

Get to know the team. Personally meet with the key members of the website design team you’re considering. You want to see the team in action “in their natural habitat” so you can get a feel for exactly how they work. As an entrepreneur and/or business owner, you know just how much weight good synergy can carry. Trust your instincts. If the partnership doesn’t feel right—even if you can’t pinpoint the exact reason—walk away.

What’s the word? Talk to their clients. What have their results been? How do they feel about their website performance? What was the development process like for them? Don’t stick solely to the testimonials on the web team’s site. Call or email past clients yourself and ask them about their specific experiences. This extra legwork on the front end will pay off big after you make your decision.

Take a look at their work. Determine how long the team has been doing website design, and be sure to look at a good sampling of the sites they’ve done. A great team should have a well-developed portfolio showing a wide array of skills and approaches. Do all their sites look very similar? If so, be aware that they may be limited and/or inflexible. Does their overall style and approach seem to dovetail well with your taste and vision? Websites have changed a ton over the past few years. Finding an experienced website design team is great, but if that team has not stayed current on technology and aesthetics, they may not be equipped to make your site everything you want it to be.

You get what you pay for. There are plenty of bargain-basement operations out there these days, but since your website is your business’ single most important online marketing tool, this may not be the time to scrimp. When gathering quotes, be sure to ask about everything that’s included in the project price. If the cost seems to high or too low, don’t hesitate to question it and ask for justification.

Peek behind the curtain. Depending on your website savvy, you may need to get a techy to help you decipher what you’re seeing, but viewing the HTML source code of a website can be a handy way to see what makes any site tick. Among other things, you can learn if the site was custom designed or designed using a template. Taking a look at the website source code can give you a better idea of the type of work the design team does. You can examine things like meta tags, which contain keywords, services used and other information. To see this info, go to the View or Develop tab in your browser and select Source or Show Page Source (this can vary depending on which browser you use).

Here at heystac, we love to pop the hood and let you poke around and see how we work. You can see plenty of examples of our work, and we’re happy to share anything that might help you in your search for the right website design team for you.